Quick Recipes and Easy

How to Cook a Steak

– Always oil the meat, not the pan.
– Remove any excess oil and wipe off any marinading herbs as they will burn.
– Heat the pan as high as you can – don’t use a non-stick pan as you can’t heat it high enough without the possibility of it giving off fumes. Use a cast-iron skillet but don’t oil it. (If you use a stainless steel frying pan, you have no choice but to oil it lightly, as it will stick otherwise. But, you will find that the smoke goes everywhere.)
– If you want your steak rare, cook it over high heat to an internal temperature of 50ºC, then take it out of the pan and leave it to rest covered and measure the internal temperature with a meat thermometer again after 5-10 minutes and after that, until it reaches 60ºC. If you cook it to 60ºC in the pan, the meat will continue to cook after that and you will end up with medium-rare meat.
– For medium, cook the steak until it reaches an internal temperature of 61ºC and leave it to rest, covered, until the thermometer reaches 71ºC.
– For well done, take it off the pan at 67ºC and leave it to rest until it reaches 77ºC.
– If you find it does not reach the required temperature, just pop it back in the pan and sear it again on both sides quickly. Then take it off, cover it, let it rest and measure the temperature again.
– It is very vital when you are cooking meat that you sear all sides of the meat. Just lift the meat up with a tongs and hold the edge of the meat against the pan until it is browned.

Testing done-ness by touch
– You can also test the doneness of meat with your fingertip. If the steak is rare, it will feel fleshy. As it turns to medium-rare you will see droplets of bloody juice appearing on the surface.
– When it reaches medium-rare, the surface will ‘spring’ back when you touch it. The juices emerging will still be red.
– Medium-done meat is firm, and the juices are pink.
– Medium-well-done meat feels more sturdy, firmer to the touch and the juices are brown and pink.
– Well-done meat has a hard surface, and doesn’t spring back. The juices that come out will be brown.

Anne Kennedy is a food writer, based in Ireland, who just likes food. She thinks there is nothing better than a rare steak served with french fries and mustard, her absolute favourite meal when she visits Paris. Thankfully she is the Managing Editor of a food and wine website, greatfood.ie greatfood.ie so she gets to cook it quite a lot, especially when she is testing a recipe or a cooking method. (After all, you can never be quite sure!)

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